Reporting nursing home abuse can be somewhat confusing, as you could potentially contact a range of local, state, and national agencies in order to report the abuse. According to Medicare, you should report nursing home abuse to the nursing home staff after the first known instance of abuse. You can report any suspicions of abuse to the following parties:
- A supervisor at the nursing home
- The director of nursing at the facility
- The nursing home administration
The Grievance Procedure
A skilled nursing facility will typically have a grievance procedure, which you should follow. Depending on the state in which the nursing home is located, your next best steps can be reporting abuse to:
- Your state’s adult protective network
- Your state’s long-term care ombudsman
- Your state’s licensure office for nursing homes
If you have reason to suspect your loved one’s life and safety might be in danger and you detect any signs of physical or sexual abuse, you may want to contact local law enforcement and emergency medical help immediately. Once your loved one is safe, you may wish to speak to a nursing home abuse attorney for help and legal advice. A lawyer can protect your loved one’s rights and help determine whether you could hold the nursing home accountable for any losses such as medical bills.
Documenting Nursing Home Abuse
Discovering your loved one’s mistreatment can feel shocking and overwhelming, and you may not know what to do for the best. However, making sure to document all your findings can be a crucial step that may be missed when you first discover any signs of abuse. While your first priority is to ensure that your loved one is safe from any immediate harm, do not forget to collect evidence as you may wish to initiate legal action against the nursing home later on.
Some steps you might want to take can include:
- Documenting any physical injuries and mental changes in your loved one
- Taking pictures of any injuries or signs of neglect
- Contacting potential eyewitnesses
- Seeking medical advice
A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
Unfortunately, it is difficult to stop elder abuse, punish the perpetrators, and pursue justice when there is no reporting. Without reporting, those who commit egregious crimes may go on and subject defenseless seniors to abuse and neglect for many years. If you are looking to report nursing home abuse of your loved one and find the process confusing and overwhelming, we are here for you.
Bernstein & Poisson can help you seek justice for your loved one. Call us today to find out how we could help you at (702) 633-3333.